Wrexham v Everton

Pre-Season Friendly, Tuesday 6 Aug 1996, ??? Wrexham

Result: Wrexham (1) 3 - Everton (1) 4 Scorers: Russell 17, Connolley 68, Owen 73; Kanchelskis 22, 50, 71, 76

Wrexham: Marriott; Brace, Hardy, Phillips, Carey Solomon, Wainwright (Chalk 55), Russell, Morris (Connolley 55), Watkin (Cross 55), Owen. Booked: None Subs Not Used: Jones, McGregor, Futcher, Cartwright.

Everton: Gerrard; Hottiger (Barrett 45), Watson (Short 45), Unsworth, Hinchcliffe; Stuart (Rideout 45), Ebbrell (Limpar 59), Grant, Speed; Branch, Kanchelskis. Booked: None Subs Not Used: Speare

Ref: George Cain (Birkenhead) -Att: 7,010
Previous Match: Aberdeen v Everton - Next Match: Birmingham City v Everton

The Kan-Kan

Paul Watterson: My first visit to Wrexham - and probably my last! It's not quite a throbbing metroplolis. I couldn't find a single chippie and the only drinking establishment was the "take 15 minutes to get served" pub at the ground.

The ground itself always looked fairly impressive on TV, with the end where away supporters are housed built in the late 1970s. It hasn't aged too well, however, and had a very shabby run-down feel about it. On one side, a tatty old wooden stand was boarded off and looked like it could have qualifed as some kind of listed building. They'd already sold out of programmes when I got in at 7:25 and it was a bit of a struggle to find three seats together.

The game itself

Everton started brightly with Grant running things in the middle, Unsworth and Watson looking solid at the back, and Speed working hard all over the field. Everton looked in control, but weren't creating much. Wrexham won a corner after about 20 minutes and scrambled the ball in - it felt like their first real attack.

I don't like to blame Gerrard, but there was a lot of confusion in the six yard box, an area that he should dominate at least. Everton soon equalised, someone hit a long shot which the keeper parried, Branch followed up and the keeper seemed to save again, the ball eventually fell to Kanchelskis who waltzed around a couple of defenders before he walked the ball into the empty net.

Half time saw three substitutions - Rideout for Stuart, Barrett for Hottiger and Short for Watson.

The second half soon settled into a pattern of Kanchelskis scoring then Wrexham equalising, before Kanchelskis eventually scored his and Everton's fourth.

All Kanchelskis' goals showed just how good and how cool he is when in front of goal - someone said in a previous mail that Everton could become a one man team and that was definately the case yesterday.

Speed looked promising, but faded badly in the second half. I'm undecided about Gerrard - he's left footed so defender's have to make a big effort to hit the ball back to his left foot. He didn't kick the ball once from his hands, he only threw the ball, usually only as far as the half-way line. I thought he was at fault for the third goal when he let a long shot in.

Branch could be in danger of becoming the next Barlow - he looked very short of confidence - Joe must give him a rest, or put him back into the youth team to score a few goals again. He spent most of yesterday's game as the lone attacker with two centre halves marking him.

Echo Notes

Geoff Henshaw: In the first half, Branch played upfront with kanchleskis with a lot of pace but sporadic success. After 17 mins, Wrexham scored with their frirst real attack through Russell. 5 mins later, Marroitt fumbled, Branch chased the ball away from the keeper, and Kanchelskis rolled the ball cheekily along the goal-line before lashing it in.

Speed then headed against a post, and Branch drove narrowly wide before K=anchelskis got his second on 50 mins. Hardy tried to head a probing cross from Hinchcliffe back to Marriott. It fell short and Kanchelskis races onto it, waited for two defenders to assemble on the line before drilling it home..

Wrexham equalised when a weak headed clearance from Short gave Connolly the chance to lob Gerrard. Kancheskis completed his hat-trick on 71 mins when he raced onto a Grant through-ball and flicked the ball in off a post with the outside of his right boot.

Grant and Speed were bering overpowered in the cetre on the park and Wrexham equalised with a 25-yard shot that went through Gerrard. Kanchelskis got his and Everton's 4th 3 mins later after being sent clear by Grant again and drilling the ball low into the far corner.

This Match Report Compilation was prepared by Michael Kenrick for Marko Poutiainen. 7 Aug 1996.